Brian Smith: "There's no reason to panic"
September 15, 2012
Stephen Jones started life at Wasps in sensational fashion © Getty Images
London Irish boss Brian Smith claims there is "no reason to panic" after seeing his side ship 123 points in their opening three matches in the Aviva Premiership.
The Exiles fell to a heavy 43-14 loss to Wasps on Saturday which meant that Smith's side have now conceded 40 points or more in their first three matches. With Shaun Edwards on board as their new defence supremo, the pressure will be on the Wales coach to turn around the team's fortunes.
But despite letting in 11 tries so far, Smith is confident that has side can stop the rot. "There's no reason to panic," he said. "It's early doors in this competition. We went in with our tails in front at half-time but we dropped off the pace 55 minutes into the game. That's really disappointing.
"But we have to cop it on the chin. We have to take our medicine, learn our lessons from this defeat and soldier on. We have a young group and we've struggled to put a win together. Young lads are only human and that's a problem for us but they're giving it all they've got.
"We were in the game up to the 55th minute. Now we have to learn our lessons and play for the full 80."
Wasps crossed for four scores but it will be Stephen Jones who will get the headlines. The Wales fly-half kicked five penalties and four conversions and Wasps boss Dai Young was full of praise for the half-back.
"Stephen brings the experience and a calm head and everybody knows Joe's [Simpson, Wasps scrum-half] a real threat in open play," said Young. "Today I thought his defensive capabilities were excellent. His organisation with Stephen was good. They steered the ship really well."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
As Scotland decides its future, Scrum Sevens looks at a group of players who transcended rugby both for country and the British & Irish Lions
Ahead of November's USA-All Blacks match, America's ESPN Magazine explains rugby to its readers who may not be familiar with the game
Tom Hamilton talks to World Cup-winning captain John Smit about life after rugby, his fears over the South African exodus and the World Cup